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Opinion

Continuous additions to world of ‘Harry Potter’ cause mixed feelings

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November 16, 2016

Last weekend I saw a trailer on television for the new “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” movie, the latest film installment in the Harry Potter world created by author J.K. Rowling.

The commercial I saw advertised the movie “as a love letter to Harry Potter fans” as scenes of magical creatures in 1920s America swirled on the screen. An innocent enough statement that nonetheless caused me to have a not-so-favorable reaction to the whole advertisement.

Not one to mince words, I will just come right out and say it: I am obsessed with “Harry Potter” and unapologetically so. “Harry Potter” has been part of my life since before I learned how to read and has occupied a large space in my formative years and continues to be important to me as an adult.

It was difficult enough reading book seven, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” in 2007, and knowing that Harry’s story had come to an end. I remember feeling an overwhelming feeling of “What do I do now?” “What happens when a series of books you have immersed your life in, stops?”

At least, I consoled myself, there are still the “Harry Potter” movies to look forward to, even if they pale in comparison to the books. But when 2011 came around and signaled the very end of the  movies, I experienced an even greater sense of loss and even more tears! Why? Because I had to say goodbye to Harry, Ron and Hermione yet again.

Now, with this next installment in the “Harry Potter” world, I do not think it is a love letter, but rather a guilt-inducing letter from an ex-boyfriend you thought you would be together with forever. An ex-boyfriend you were so in love with but had to break up, but now you’re coping without him, but he insists on not letting you move on from him.

Frankly, it’s cruel that more and more “Harry Potter” books and plays and movies are being introduced, especially when they’re not good. I’m looking at you, “Cursed Child!” I have tried so hard to be okay with letting “Harry Potter” go, so why can’t J.K. Rowling just let me just cope?

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is the first movie in a five-part installment that will span nineteen years in the wizarding world. With the movie premiering on Friday, Nov. 18, I approach the whole experience with two feelings at passionate odds of one another.

On one hand, I have a tremendous feeling of anxiety and tension about whether or not I want to allow myself to fall too deeply into any more of the world of “Harry Potter.” The other side of me craves to know as much as I can about a world that I, truthfully, will not be able to live without. With seven books and eight movies behind me, and five Fantastic Beasts movies yet to come, it is clear that “Harry Potter” will be my past, present and future.

Lauren Simenson is a student at UW-River Falls.